has been on our radar ever since God's Fool
, his fascinating and beautiful first novel about the lives of 19th century conjoined twins Chang and Eng. When we heard that our dear friends at W. W. Norton were publishing his latest novel, Brewster
, we couldn't let the opportunity to work with them pass us by. This heartbreaking coming-of-age story paints a vivid portrait of the claustrophobic working-class town of Brewster, New York, during the late '60s, with the threat of the Vietnam War ever present in the background. Jon Mosher, the story's narrator, sets the tone in the first few pages: "How it felt [in Brewster] was like somebody twice as strong as you had their hand around your throat. You could choke or fight." Brought to life in prose at once spare and visceral, Brewster
is about violence and grief, but also love and friendship. It's about the urge to escape, as well as the price of standing your ground.
From experience, we know that reading is thirsty work, so we thought perhaps some Steven Smith Teamaker Iced Tea might be just the thing to ease you through the remaining scorching days of summer. The Indiespensable team thrives on sourcing locally, and this artisan tea by renowned tea maker Steven Smith is made of the finest, freshest ingredients and blended in very small batches to satisfy even the most serious tea aficionado. It's the most refreshing sip you'll have all year — we'd stake a first edition Tolkien on it.
And because nothing goes better with tea than a cookie, we asked another Portland-area favorite, Elephants Delicatessen, to bake up a special treat for Indiespensable subscribers. Elephants Deli provided a delicious shortbread cookie for our very first Indiespensable package, and we're delighted to be partnering with them again. So please… enjoy these summertime delicacies — we did!